I just watched a short, 14 minute promotional film about Brooks England, the famous bicycle saddle manufacturer in Birmingham, England.
The company was started in 1866 as a leather trading company. In 1878, the company founder and president, J.B. Brooks, was riding his horse to work when the horse died. He couldn’t afford a new horse, so he borrowed a friend’s bicycle to get around and was immediately horrified at the uncomfortable saddle. He created the B-1, the B-2 and then finally the B-17 was introduced in the 1890s. The B-17 is now the oldest saddle design still in production.
Brooks uses only British cows (yes, they really said that in the video) to ensure the highest quality, consistent thickness and the “finish we require.” The saddles are assembled by hand in their ancient factory in England; they even drive the copper rivets in with hand held hammers and polish the finished saddles by hand.
If you subscribe to Momentum Magazine before October 15, you can be entered to win a Brooks B-17 saddle and the Brooks Challenge Tool Bag.